Grayson Allen scored 37 points in a stellar Duke win over Michigan State. MORE TO COME!
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 14, 2017) - The John R. Wooden® presented by Wendy’s® announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor.
Returning from the 2016 Wooden Award™ All American Team, Grayson Allen of Duke headlines this year’s Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. The list also highlights stars from the 2017 NCAA Tournament: Joel Berry II of the NCAA National Champion North Carolina; Johnathan Williams of NCAA Runner-Up Gonzaga; Arizona’s Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier; Butler’s Kelan Martin; Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans; Creighton’s Marcus Foster; Duke’s Allen; Florida’s KeVaughn Allen; Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham; Louisville’s Deng Adel; Miami’s Bruce Brown Jr.; Michigan’s Moritz Wagner; Michigan State’s Miles Bridges; Minnesota’s Nate Mason; Nortwestern’s Bryant McIntosh; Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell; Oklahoma State’s Jeffrey Carroll; Purdue’s Vincent Edwards; Saint Mary’s Jock Landale; Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado; SMU’s Shake Milton; South Dakota State’s Mike Daum; UCLA’s Aaron Holiday; USC’s Jordan McLaughlin and Chimezie Metu; Villanova’s Jalen Brunson; West Virginia’s Jevon Carter; Wichita State’s Landry Shamet; Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ; and Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett.
Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Arizona (Alkins, DeAndre Ayton, and Trier) and Duke (Allen, Marvin Bagley III, and Trevon Duval) lead with three candidates apiece, while Kansas (Graham and Malik Newman), Kentucky (Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox), Michigan State (Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr.), Notre Dame (Colson and Farrell), and USC (McLaughlin and Metu) each have two players on the Preseason Top 50.
The trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with ten named to the list: Arizona’s Ayton, Bagley III and Duval of Duke, Mohamed Bamba of Texas, Kentucky’s Diallo and Knox, Michigan State’s Jackson Jr., Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri, Collin Sexton of Alabama, and Trae Young of Oklahoma.
The Preseason Top 50 list represents 11 conferences. The ACC leads all conferences with 9 selections, followed by the Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC with 7 selections apiece, Big 12 (6), Big East (5), The American (4). The WCC has two selections and the Atlantic 10, Mountain West, and The Summit League each have one selection.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 6, 2018.
The Duke Blue Devils move to 1-0 in the young season with an impressive 97-68 win over Elon . Here are out instant game thoughts -
Grayson Allen had an All American 1st half
Grayson Allen had an All American type first half scoring 19 of his 22 points. His play set a tone for the younger players who would then come alive as the game went on.
Duke did not let up
The Blue Devils started the 2nd half on a 9-0 run which pleased Coach K. The team did, however, play their bench early and often. Alex O'Connell had a nice shooting night off the bench and Javin DeLaurier and his motor accounted for 11 rebounds and some good defense.
Marvin Bagkey III is special
In his collegiate debut, Bagley IIi scored 25 points to go with 10 rebounds for his first double-double at Duke. He assisted Allen for a three while getting one back from him for a dunk which brought Cameron to its collective feet.
Duval was steady
Trevon Duval has a good opening night performance dishing out a team high 8 assists. One of those was a behind the back pass to Marvin Bagley which ended the half with a roaring dunk. He made some momentum plays which pleases the coaches.
Trent is a dead-eye shooter
Gary Trent Jr. is a pure scorer. He went 4 of 5 from beyond the three-point stripe and garnered 17 points in his collegiate debut.
Just the facts
Elon kept the game semi close by hitting 14 three pointers. The only bad stat for Duke is that they went 3 of 11 from the free throw stripe. Duke out-rebounded Elon 48-30. Coach K won his 999th game at Duke and can gain his historic 1000th win against Utah Valley State with a win tomorrow. Wendell Carter Jr. was hobbled with foul trouble but had 8 points and 6 rebounds in his debut.
Duke landed another stellar prospect and the best player on Canada when Rowan (RJ) Barrett committed to the Blue Devils on Friday evening.
Barrett possesses tremendous scoring instincts and led Team Canada to a historic win over Team USA this past summer. The sleek, multi faceted wing scored 38 points in that game on a team that feature future teammates Cameron Reddish and Tre Jones.
The young star to be excels in the transition game, easily creating his own shot or dishing an assist. He has good range and plays with a lot of energy quickly surveying the floor and calculating his move.
Barrett plays his high school basketball for Montverde Academy in Florida. He has played with some different Nike teams but mostly for Nike Uplay in Canada. He hails from Mississauga, Ontario. He made his announcement on the TSN (The Sports Network) which is in his home country of Canada.
Barrett is another can't miss prospect who will make Cameron Crazies blush with his play. Many feel he will be the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft which shows the respect he has earned with his play.